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Taiwan postpones Hong Kong permanent residency amid national security concerns

MAC had planned to promulgate the new rules May 1

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New permanent residency rules for professionals from Hong Kong will not be introduced on May 1.

New permanent residency rules for professionals from Hong Kong will not be introduced on May 1. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Measures making it easier for professionals from Hong Kong to obtain permanent residency in Taiwan are being postponed over national security concerns, reports said Friday (April 29).

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced it would not promulgate the new rules on May 1 as initially planned but would first hold more consultations with the lawmakers who had voiced doubts about the proposals.

The package would allow migrants from Hong Kong and Macau to obtain permanent residency if they stay in Taiwan for five years doing professional work, spend 183 days of each of those years in the country, and on average make double the minimum monthly salary of NT$25,250 (US$857) during the fifth year, CNA reported.

Because both MAC Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) and Spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) have been self-isolating according to COVID-19 measures, they have been unable to hold the necessary discussions with legislators. Talks with the Ministry of Interior’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) are also still needed, the MAC spokesman told reporters.

He emphasized the new rules would consider national security, humanitarian concerns, and the need to attract professional talent in equal measure. The MAC thanked legislators for their concerns and ideas and said it hopes a consensus could be reached before introducing the rules as soon as possible.